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Battle Creek mulls backyard chickens, goats and more

Goats can prove useful in managing urban weed populations.
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Battle Creek residents may soon be able to keep hens, rabbits, miniature goats, and honey bees in their back yards. City commissioners are holding a public workshop on Tuesday, March 21, to discuss the proposal. 

The ordinance would include some limitations. It would not allow roosters, or on-site slaughtering. Licensing and permits would be required to keep the animals, and there would be some guidelines for distance from neighbors and shelters for the animals.

The size of the property would determine the type of animals and how many are allowed. A separate proposal for a program for feral cats will also be considered.

Christine Zuzga, the Planning Manager for Battle Creek, says there has been a lot of support for the ordinance. "We had a lot of people in support, but again we do also have some that are opposed to it. It's going to depend on if the commission feels comfortable with the provisions of the ordinance," Zuzga says.

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